Faces of Crosskey – Coding Community
Marcus Björke and Dennis Frantzén have worked at Crosskey since the beginning. At Crosskey, these two gentlemen have different roles, but in their spare time, both are a part of the programming club Kodarklubben. Marcus Björke is an interaction designer, who started working at Ålandsbanken 19 years ago transferred to Crosskey in 2005. Dennis Frantzén, lead architect, started at Crosskey when it was founded in 2004.
The Coding community itself is not massive on the Åland Islands. There is, however, a big demand for learning how to code amongst the younger generation. Kodarklubben has almost 60 members; 40 children and 20 adults. Since IT jobs are popular at the island, many of the adults and parents who are involved in arranging the course have a background as developer which makes it natural to teach coding to others. Most of the children are around the age of 10, this is a suitable age to start programming since coding requires a certain maturity – you must be able to read and to recognize commandos on a keyboard.
Björke is a co-founder and board member of Kodarklubben, and active in Roblox – a programming course for children on the Åland Islands. Frantzén is a mentor that teaches out coding to the youngsters. “We have children ourselves in that age group with an interest in programming, it creates a place for them and builds a feeling of belonging,” says Frantzén.
The coding course has run three times so far. The course is free of charge, and consists of 5 occasions each term, a total of 15 hours. Some of the challenges that the club faces are not having a premise of their own, and the capacity to bring in everyone who wants to participate due to lack of staff. Björke says that in the future they would love to have their own clubhouse, since it makes is easier to be more spontaneous. “If anything, we need more mentors. People who are engaged in the community, parents who have an interest in Roblox, that want to teach others as well as learning new skills themselves,” adds Björke. Both agrees that Kodarklubben may require a lot of devotion, but it is all worth it when the children show appreciation of learning new skills.
Even if the club requires some time, this is not the only hobby for Björke and Frantzén. Frantzén also does Taekwondo in his spare time and Björke does a lot of cycling and kite surfing on top of Kodarklubben. This is only one, out of many, examples of the extraordinary people working at Crosskey.
Roblox is one of the biggest gamer platforms in the world, it is compared with Minecraft.
Just like Minecraft, Roblox can also be used as an educational tool. The best thing with games as an educational tool is that it offers great opportunities for creativity and imagination, since it enables user to create and publish their own games.
Kodarklubben was founded in 2017 and is today one of the few Roblox educators in the Nordic region. For more information please visit their website, or try making your own first Lua code in the Roblox Studio here: https://kodarklubben.ax/roblox/ (Tutorial in Swedish)